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22 April 2016

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Hatters youth win reaction

Hatters players, management and backroom staff have been pouring in their congratulations for the Under 18s after their Football League Youth Alliance Cup final win over Shrewsbury on Wednesday night.
The Hatters youngsters won 2-1 to complete a tremendous league and cup double, while they also reached the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.

Nathan Jones praised the side in his pre-game press conference on Thursday, joining a host of Town players and fans in showing their support.

It was a nervy final at times, with both sides careless in possession at times as the potential prize became more real, although the Hatters composed themselves in the second half to score two excellent goals through Freddie Hinds.
Shrewsbury broke back through a penalty, but the Town boys were able to hang on to launch jubilant celebrations at Greenhous Meadon.

Speaking to after the game, Paul Driver believes the determination the Hatters showed is a credit to the squad he and Andy Awford have developed this year.

He said: “I'm relieved after that! We weren't our best footballing wise, but probably the best in the determination we had to put in. We've been pretty this season, but we weren't tonight, but we showed something else instead tonight. 

“I'm massively proud of this group - Andy and I have been in youth football for a long time and this is by far the best group, not just on the pitch but in everything, the way they take college and handle themselves is a real credit.”

Led by captain Frankie Musonda, the Under 18s have had a near perfect season, with much more expected to come from them in the future. The skipper himself has been part of senior team set-ups under Nathan Jones, and was left almost speechless after the full-time whistle.

"It's amazing, it's a great feeling, it's been a great season for all of us. We've been connected as a team, everybody works for each other on and off the field,” said Musonda.

“If we were at home we would have packed it with Luton fans, but we had so many today and we were so thankful to them coming today. It's a wonderful feeling.”

Gary Sweet was also among a vocal Hatters support, joining in the celebrations on the pitch full of pride for his young side.

“It's fantastic - what a season they've had! It reminds of us the first team in the 80s,” he said.

“They’re a tough act to follow, but we’ve said that before and seven of them are first years, and they've done terrifically well. 

“You could tell they were nervous, you couldn't tell if it was home or away, but it didn't matter for them. This really didn't phase them with some of the trips they've had. They settled down in the second half, and it was fantastic to see so many Luton fans here too.  

“Both sides were well in it, but I think Luton were in control for most of the game even though it was a bit scrappy. Freddie took his goals fantastically. A few of the board were here tonight, and we are really really proud of the kids and are so delighted for them. They were beaming in the dressing room.”

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